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HLTH 235: Food Systems


The Library subscribes to a large number of e-book packages.

There are many different ways to find e-books at Queen's. Most collections have individual book records in Omni, and you can refine your search results in Omni to e-books by using the books/ebooks filter under Resource Type.

You can also search e-book collections directly through searching through the Database page.

Getting Started

The key to successful searching is not the quantity of results, but how relevant they are to the topic.

Before you start your research, develop a list of keywords that best describe your topic. Think of synonyms and related-terms. 

Finding Books

A good way to start your research is to search for books, book chapters and eBooks on your research topic.

Search Omni to find books (and other materials) owned by the library.  You may search by topic using keywords, author, title, or subject headings. 

Once you have located a book of interest, use the subject headings to identify additional resources on your topic. 

Use the filters in Omni to refine your search results, by format (e.g. books & eBooks). The filters are located along the left-hand side of the search results screen.

Basic Search Tips

Enter one or more of your topic keywords into the Omni search box and then click the search button. 

Basic search supports the use of Boolean operators: AND, OR or NOT, and they must be entered in uppercase. For example:

  • Covid-19 AND "food security"
  • agroecology OR agri-environmental

To search for a specific phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase.  For example: "food systems"

Truncation is the process of adding an asterisk '*' to the end of a root word to get different variations on the word. For example: environment* for environments, environmental

Narrow or refine your search by adding other terms using AND. For example: Covid-19 AND "food security" AND Africa

Broaden your search results by using OR between similar terms nested in brackets. For example: (agroecology OR agri-environmental) AND "food systems"

Use brackets to group terms. When you have more than on Boolean operator in a search statement, it is necessary to separate them with brackets. Operators enclosed in the brackets are performed first followed by the operators outside of the brackets. For example: (agroecology OR agri-environmental) AND "food systems"

*Please note that the default search in Omni includes the holdings of Queen's University Library AND the physical holdings of our Omni partner libraries in Ontario.

Advanced Search

Use the Advanced Search option for more precise searching.

Using the drop-down options within the Advanced Search screen you can limit your search to specific fields and/or a combination of fields (Author, Title, Subject, Call number). You can also specify that your search words must be contained in the search field ("contains", "starts with" or "is (exact)."  


Modify Your Results

You can Modify your search results by using the Filters list on the left side of the search screen. 

For example: Resource Type such as Books and eBooks.


Subject Headings

When you find relevant results, note the subject headings assigned. Refining your search using the same subject heading terminology may yield more precise results. 

If you are unsure of the correct subject heading(s) for your topic, conduct a Keyword Boolean search first. Next, conduct another search using the subject headings you find in your results for additional items on the same topic. You can also do subject searches (using subject headings) in the Advanced Search page in Omni.

Some useful headings for this course:

  • Agriculture biotechnology
  • Food - Biotechnology
  • Food security
  • Food supply - Moral and ethical aspects
  • Food Systems
  • Migrant Workers
  • Social Justice
  • Sustainable fisheries